The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense

“…I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.… It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Why Herman Cain’s Lead In The Polls Should Be Seen As Far Different Than Mitt Romney’s

Here’s the Nonsense: Herman Cain has risen up in the polls to match Mitt Romney but it will be short-lived because he’s not a candidate to take seriously.

Here’s the Horse Sense:  Herman Cain’s ranking in the polls has a far different and more important meaning than Mitt Romney’s similar ranking.

Mitt Romney has been leading the polls from the beginning of his campaign for the 2012 GOP nomination.  Herman Cain started small and has moved up the polls to be neck and neck with Romney.  And, to many peoples’ surprise, Cain has remained at the top of the polls for several weeks now.  But people think it will be short-lived.  Here’s why it shouldn’t be.

Herman Cain’s campaign is different than any other candidate, especially Mitt Romney’s.  No other candidate has the organic grassroots phenomena happening that Herman Cain has.  But let’s back up for a moment and take a look at Mitt Romney’s campaign so we can really understand what is happening with Herman Cain. 

Mitt Romney has raised a lot of money and landed in the 20th percentile in the polls and stayed there consistently.  Mitt Romney is the darling of the Establishment Republican Elite and clearly is their choice for the GOP nomination.  Mitt Romney is also the darling of the mainstream media (also known as the progressive liberal media who chose John McCain as the preferred candidate of choice for the Republicans in the 2008 election) and Mr. Romney is also their choice for the GOP nomination.  The Establishment Republican Elite are the same ilk that brought us the economic policies of the last Republican administration that have been carried forward and expanded by the Democrats under President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi’s lead (not something the GOP should be proud of).  Mitt Romney has shown support for a number of progressive liberal positions with his creation of and support for Romneycare, which was a prime part of the model developed for Obamacare.  While he may claim he’d repeal it, the fact is that 3 of his advisors met with the Obama administration on at least 12 different occasions to help them with Obamacare. 

Somehow I’m having trouble seeing his commitment to anything conservative other than saying what he thinks the Republican voters want to hear so that he can get the nomination.  His views on global warming, cap and trade, and other issues also mirror those of the left.  And on top of all this, Mitt Romney can’t seem to get his rating in the polls to move up much beyond that which comes from his base of support.  He doesn’t appear to be winning many people over.  He will win them over solely by surviving and being the only choice they have. Very much the same as John McCain did.

Hmmm…. Maybe it’s me, but I just don’t get a feeling that he’s that much different than the current occupant of the White House.  So, while I still think he’d be a far better president than President Obama, I don’t think he’s that much different.  The biggest difference is that at least Mitt Romney has experience running large organizations whereas President Obama had no experience of any kind.  That does give Mr. Romney a little edge, but not near the edge needed to do what’s the absolute best for this country.

So, before I get back to Herman Cain, let’s remember that Mitt Romney is being pushed as the GOP nominee by the very same people who helped get this country into the mess we’re in in the first place.  President Obama is right in that he didn’t create the mess, but he is wrong when he doesn’t admit that he’s expanded it and made it dramatically worse.  Even worse than it ever would have been if we would have stayed on the path we were on under his predecessor.

Enter Herman Cain.  The media and the Establishment Republican Elite would have us believe that Herman Cain cannot sustain his lead in the polls.  Certainly he doesn’t have the money that Mitt Romney’s campaign has raised.  And certainly he doesn’t have the campaign experience that any other candidate has that is currently running.  And yes, he’s made some mistakes, but most often those boil down to the fact that he hasn’t learned yet that when the media ask him a question they do not want an answer as much as they want to set him up for a chance at catching him in a misstatement or a statement that they can take out of context to make him look bad.  They are not trying to report his positions, as true journalists really would.  Once he clarifies his position he seems to bounce back just fine.

Here’s the bottom line.  Herman Cain’s candidacy is different simply because it doesn’t come from money or powerful GOP insiders pushing his candidacy.  It comes from something far more important.  It comes as an organic, grassroots response to him as a person and his message.  No one else…. let me say that again a little louder…NO ONE ELSE has had that happen in this election cycle.  Herman Cain is truly a candidate of the people.  He resonates with people.  He relates to people.  People see that he’s not politics-as-usual.  He’s not more of the same.  And they see that everything he’s ever done has been met with success.  There might have been errors and stumbles along the way, but ultimately he prevails every time he does something.  To voters he comes across as a man who really is the change they hope for, not to be mistaken for the change that was a mistake that we got from the last election.

Will Herman Cain survive long term and become the alternative to Mitt Romney to get the GOP nomination?  I don’t know and nobody knows.  But what I do know is that when someone comes along with all the people against him that Mr. Cain does, has little money, has no support from the "establishment" and they still continue to rise in the polls, it can only mean that he has a message that should be seriously considered by the voters.  Those who will vote Republican need to make sure they don’t just accept what the GOP tries to force on them.  They need to seriously consider an alternative and push it to the end of the process if they believe in it. 

Herman Cain may not get the GOP nomination.  He may not even be one of the two finalists for that nomination.  But his ideas are refreshing, unique, clearly thought out, and offer concepts that should at least be part of the discussion for the Republican Party in the 2012 election.  Any Republican candidate that is currently running for the nomination would bring an improvement over the disaster we have right now.  But we shouldn’t settle for just anyone who is thought to be able to beat President Obama.  We should only settle for the best person to lead in turning this country around.  And ideas like the ones Herman Cain proposes should be part of that discussion.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rick Perry And All The Rest Of Us Have A Problem Because Of Mitt Romney’s Mormon Faith

Here’s the Nonsense:  We are wrong to reject Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion as non-Christian.
Here’s the Horse Sense:  Recently Rick Perry has had severe scrutiny brought on him because of comments made by a pastor who introduced him at an event.  The pastor claimed that the Mormon religion is not Christian.  This raises serious questions both for Perry and for all the rest of us, too.
At the debate in Las Vegas this week Anderson Cooper tried to put Perry on the spot by placing him in lockstep with the pastor who made the comments.  Rick Perry ended the discussion by saying that he doesn’t agree with the pastor.  
If Mr. Perry really doesn’t believe that the Mormon religion is Christian, then he has a problem.  Rick Perry claims to be an evangelical Christian.  Evangelical Christianity is part of mainstream, orthodox Christianity.  And whether anyone likes it or not, Mormonism’s doctrine keeps it from being considered Christian because it does not line up with the doctrines of orthodox Christianity, regardless of what Mormons themselves may claim.
 Based on that fact, it would not be surprising or out of line for an evangelical Christian to reject the claim that Mormonism is a Christian religion.  In fact, a person who is truly an evangelical Christian would be denying their own faith if they accepted Mormonism as Christian.   After all, the individual does not determine whether something can be accepted into the “family” of faith that their religion proclaims.  Individuals do not determine what their religion believes, the religion sets its doctrine.  If something does not measure up to it then it cannot be accepted as part of that family of faith no matter what some individual believes.  An individual can choose to believe something their religion does not teach, but if they do, then they are rejecting their religion.  It is not their choice.  This is a matter of doctrine. 
An analogy outside of religion might help because people don’t like to hear this kind of thing.  If a U.S. citizen decided to call a citizen from another country a U.S. citizen it would be the same kind of thing.  They can say that person is a citizen of the U.S.  That person can claim to be a U.S. citizen.  But the fact is that unless that person meets the legal definition of U.S. citizenship they are not really a citizen.  The United States government sets the laws for citizenship and no individual can change that.  Just because some citizen says they believe something different does not change it.  Just because some group says they are citizens does not make them citizens.  They must meet the criteria set forth by the U. S. government to truly be U. S. citizens.  
 It is the same thing for orthodox Christianity or any religion.  It is doctrinally correct for an evangelical Christian to say that they do not believe that Mormonism is Christian.  In fact, if they said anything else they would be stating something that denies, rejects, and circumvents Christian doctrine. 
So when Rick Perry is put on the spot at the last debate and asked by Anderson Cooper about that pastor’s statement, Rick Perry says he doesn’t agree with it.  Here’s Mr. Perry’s problem.  If Rick Perry is truly an evangelical Christian, then he has to accept the doctrines taught by evangelical Christianity.  He has no choice if he truly is an evangelical Christian.  If he rejects those doctrines then he is walking away from the faith he claims to have.  Does he believe what his church teaches and is he just lying to end the controversy?  Or does he reject what his church teaches and is a liar in claiming to be an evangelical Christian?  Either way he is a hypocrite unless he stands up and clarifies his position.  If he doesn’t, then voters need to ask if this is the kind of integrity they want in a candidate.
For the rest of us here’s our problem:  If we truly believe in the freedoms that were granted to us as American citizens, then we have to allow people to believe as they choose.  If our faith in our religion is so weak that we cannot stand the idea that someone may disagree with us and think we are wrong, then we need to rethink our personal beliefs.  America is supposed to give us religious freedom.  You and I should be able to believe differently and still be neighbors, friends, and fellow citizens.  And as a free nation who believes in free speech above all else, that means that we each need to allow disagreements.
Over the years some of my closest friends have been people who have different religious beliefs than I do.  We agree to disagree.  We often have had discussions, even heated ones, about how our beliefs differ.  But there’s always been a respect for the right of the other person to believe differently.  That kind of open-mindedness is what America is about.  But in recent years it has become politically incorrect to question or disagree with anyone’s beliefs.  That political correctness is not only oppressive, it takes away our freedoms.
At the last debate Rick Santorum answered Anderson Cooper’s question about whether voters should consider a candidate’s faith when voting.  We should all think seriously about the wisdom he imparted. His response was:  “I think they should pay attention to the candidate's values, what the candidate stands for,” he said. “That's what is at play.  And the person's faith--and you look at that faith and what the faith teaches with respect to morals and values that are reflected in that person's belief structure.

“I'm a Catholic," Santorum continued. "The Catholic church has social teachings. The Catholic church has teachings as to what's right and what's wrong. And those are legitimate things for voters to look at, to say if you're a faithful Catholic, which I try to be--fall short all the time, but I try to be--and it's a legitimate thing to look at as to what the tenets and teachings of that faith are with respect to how you live your life and how you would govern this country.

“With respect to what is the road to salvation, that's a whole different story,” said Santorum. “That's not applicable to what--what the role is of being the president or a senator or any other job.”

Monday, October 17, 2011

Is Hillary Clinton Tired Or Wise?

Here’s the Nonsense: Hillary’s missing her opportunity by not pursuing the Democrat nomination for president in 2012.

Here’s the Horse Sense:  Hillary Clinton stated this morning on NBC’s Today Show that it’s time for others to step up, that she’d made her contribution.  She is confirming that she is not interested in running for president. 

Now something about this doesn’t quite add up.  For years we’ve heard that Hillary is ultra-ambitious and would not miss the opportunity to take power, especially the position of most powerful leader on the planet.  She’s the obvious front-runner if she wants to challenge the current occupant of the White House for the nomination.  Many in the Democrat Party wish she would have gotten it in 2008. 

President Obama has been an utter disappointment and disaster for the Democrats.  They have had no failure of this magnitude since President Jimmy Carter who, up until now, has been referred to as the worst president in history.  There have to be many on the left side of the aisle that wish they had a different candidate to run than the incumbent.

But even though there is opportunity for her there, Hillary probably realizes that a Democrat presidency, if it were to win in 2012, is a guaranteed failure.  And certainly the last thing Hillary wants is a legacy that screams failure.

Hillary’s dilemma is simply that the Democrat methods of turning the economy around cannot work.  They’ve already proved it.  The old definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Certainly someone who is wise would not do that.

Hillary sees the handwriting on the wall.  To challenge President Obama she has to have different answers than he does.  She sees that his answers have not worked.  She can see that the only solution is to cut expenses, cut taxes, and reduce the size of government. But if she claims that position, then she is embracing the position of the conservative Republicans.  Even if she could get the nomination with that kind of platform, what would she do to win against the Republicans with the same platform in the general election?

On the other hand, if she were to take on the typical Democrat answer of tax and spend she would be bound to fail.  She might go into office with hopes of being seen as a savior to the country, but she’d be guaranteed failure.  However, if she bows out now she walks away with a legacy that she is proud of.  She is not seen as a failure like her current boss will be.  And later, she can always choose to run.  She’s not old.  She’s only 63.  She can wait 4 or even 8 years and choose to run then if she wants.  Even though people used to be concerned about people in their 70’s running for president, we are now continually reminded that 70 is the new 60. 

Hillary might just be tired and ready to retire from public service, which is certainly her choice.  But her reputation and prior actions don’t show her as someone who walks away. She understands the insurmountable task a Democrat would face should they win the White House again in 2012.  She might not be as ready to leave public service as she is just plain wise.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Hampshire’s And Other Early Primaries Steal Choice Of Candidate From Voters

Here’s the Nonsense:  Early primaries are needed so the GOP can quickly choose a candidate to stop destructive infighting. 
 Here’s the Horse Sense:  Aside from the fact that there really has been no destructive infighting to speak of, the real goal of the process should be to choose the best candidate.  New Hampshire and other states pushing their primaries to earlier and earlier dates increases the odds of Democrat success in the presidential election.  By having their primaries at earlier dates the chances of picking the best candidate decreases.
 In 2008 America made the terrible mistake of electing a man to the presidency who was not proven, not vetted, and without experience running or leading anything.  The result has been the biggest disaster of a presidency since that of Jimmy Carter.  (President Carter can be thankful that the current Oval Office resident has replaced him as the worst president in history.)  We should have learned our lesson about rushing to a decision without doing the proper homework.  Instead, we are watching the GOP push forward at breakneck speed to find a candidate to run to replace President Obama. 
 We have over 12 months until the election.  We really don’t have a direct campaign process between the two parties until a few months before the election.  Instead of carefully examining the choices we have for candidates.  Instead of painstakingly studying what each one of them has to offer.  Instead of making sure that the person they choose is the best person to turn the country around (and thereby also assure the GOP of many election cycles of success), they are rushing to bring their choice forward at a speed that defies any sense of logic. 
 The GOP is currently divided in a struggle to see which side of the party, the moderates (pronounced “liberal Republicans”) or the conservatives will determine the future of the party.  Rather than carefully studying what has truly worked in the past, they are determined to field a moderate candidate that is nothing more than Democrat-lite. 
 The first warning that this is the case should be that the Democrats and the media (also Democrats) are pushing hard for the GOP to run a moderate candidate.  That didn’t work so well when they listened to them and ran Senator John McCain in 2008.  The reason the Democrats want the GOP to run a moderate is because they know that eliminates any real choice for voters.  Right now they want the GOP to run Governor Mitt Romney.  Governor Romney is not a conservative.  He will make it very hard for the GOP to win and much easier for President Obama to get elected again.  Does the moderate wing of the GOP really want that to happen?  Do they want that to happen more than to have a conservative candidate win?  The answer appears to be yes.
 With a truly conservative candidate the GOP gives voters a clear choice of someone who stands for the opposite of those very policies that have gotten this nation into so much trouble.  With Governor Romney they give the voters a man who has shown himself to be moderate.  He has expressed belief in man-caused global warming.  His Romneycare program in Massachusetts which became the model for Obamacare (and three of his advisers helped senior Obama officials with by meeting with them multiple times).  And other areas that show his lack of commitment to conservative principles.   It is no surprise, when you see what Governor Romney stands for, that he says government run healthcare is for the states to do, but not the federal government.  Government run healthcare is a bad idea on any level.  The difference between doing it at the state level versus the federal level is you end up with 50 disasters instead of one disaster.
 The media and Democrats scream that the conservatives in the GOP and the Tea Party have pushed politics way too far to the right in this country and that we need to return to a more moderate political scene.  That is all a smokescreen.  They know very well that politics in America is more liberal today than ever.  When John Kennedy was president he was a Democrat.  Today his politics would compare to those of the Republican Party.  If he were alive at the end of his brother, Ted’s life he would have found the Democrat Party his brother belonged to was far different from the one he was a member of. 
 Politics in America has moved far to the left.  The conservatives in the GOP simply would like it to move back to the center so there’s a fair balance of ideas between which the voters can choose.  Rushing to primaries instead of realizing that time is on our side is a big mistake.  We should use the time to get the best candidate to lead our country out of the biggest mess it has ever faced.

Monday, October 10, 2011

He Tells It Like It Is. He’s Obviously Not A Politician.

Here’s the Nonsense:  People are shocked that Herman Cain would say the things he’s said about the Wall Street protesters.

Here’s the Horse Sense: Not only is Herman Cain the only adult in the room (see my 09-25-11 blog post), he’s one candidate with the guts to tell it like it is.  America needs a strong leader who cares more about doing what is right than about saying the politically correct thing.

Nancy Pelosi says she supports the protesters message, but their only message is one of anti-capitalism, anti-America and incoherence.

President Obama has shown support for the protesters even though he’s accepted more donations from Wall Street than any politician in history.  I guess with him it’s “do as I say, not as I do.”

Cain has the guts to stand up and say that these protesters are wrong, that they are simply playing a victim card and are jealous of other peoples’ success.  These protesters have an entitlement mentality, something that doesn’t sit well with Cain.  And the reason it doesn’t sit well with him is because he didn’t sit around expecting to get a handout all his life.  Rather, he took a disadvantaged beginning to his life and worked hard, overcame it, achieved great things over and over again, and never expected anyone to hand it to him.  He saw the opportunity that America offered and he took advantage of it and made himself a remarkable success.  I would consider it a privilege to learn from a man of his background. 

These days politicians are about the most politically correct people on the planet.  It goes against their grain to say something that someone might find offensive.  Speaking their mind in a straightforward fashion is the last thing you’ll hear them do.  But Herman Cain isn’t a politician.  He’s a problem-solving businessman who’s crafted success after success out of each opportunity he was given.  He knows that you can’t truly solve problems and succeed unless you face the facts, tell it like it is, and deal with reality.  His personality and style are a breath of fresh air in an environment like politics that is filled with hypocrites, liars, and disingenuous people.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Are They The 99%?

Here’s the Nonsense:  The Wall Street protesters say they are “the 99%” - in contrast to the wealthiest 1% of Americans.

Here’s the Horse Sense:  No they’re not the 99%.  They want us to think they represent the views of 99% of the American public, but they don’t.  They are a small portion of the American populace who have a right to their opinion, but their views are not those of 99% of the country.  They are the views of a limited few who do not understand the United States, it’s free market capitalist system, the freedoms America gives us, or where their lives would be without it. 

These protesters are made up of two types of people.  One type are the radical rabble-rousers trying to promote class warfare in our society.  These people have a political agenda and are using the others to achieve their goals.  The other people among the protesters are the feeble-minded, deceived and weak people who don’t understand what this is all about.  If you watch interviews with these people you can see that they want to be part of something.  They want to have meaning in their lives.  They want to feel that what they are doing makes them part of something.  They have no clear understanding of America, its history, its values, its accomplishments, its contribution to the world and to their lives, or the systems in America that have made it great.  These are the pawns being used for other peoples’ dishonest and, frankly, evil ends.  And if you look deep enough I’d bet that the core values of those controlling these people come from an ideology that is anti-American and anti-freedom.

American’s best reaction to these troublemakers on Wall Street is to let the authorities deal with the crowds and the rest of us should simply ignore them and keep working hard to save and rebuild America.  These uninformed, uneducated protesters don’t deserve the attention they are getting. 

Operation Fast And Furious Is Only A Symptom Of A Much Bigger Problem

Here’s the Nonsense:  We’re surprised that there might be corruption in our government with the revelation that Attorney General Eric Holder might have had knowledge of or involvement in Operation Fast and Furious.
Here’s the Horse Sense: Why are we surprised when something like this comes up?  The old saying, “So you bought a ticket to the circus and you’re surprised when you see an elephant?” comes to mind.  The truth of Attorney General Holder's knowledge of and involvement in Operation Fast and Furious may take a long time to come out.  Possibly many years from now long after this administration has left office.  The real tragedy of this isn't just what has happened in this operation and who was involved.  The tragedy is that we have chosen to elect people who put ideology over truth and they appoint others of similar values to key positions in the administration instead of acting as a trustee of what's best for the nation.
No one, not even the president, who is supposed to be not just the leader of his party and this administration but also the leader of our nation, should look to do anything but find the truth.  We need leadership in this country and not ideologues.  These people seem to truly believe that the end justifies the means.  This is an opportunity for this administration to show whether they are interested in finding the truth or in protecting their ideology.
This nation is in trouble in a vast number of areas beyond what we have ever faced.  The only hope we have to turn things around is true leadership, regardless of what party it comes from.  But we don’t have leaders in Washington.  I believe we would be hard pressed to find enough leaders in Washington politics to equal the number of fingers I have on both hands, possibly not even enough to equal those on one hand.  Only leadership can save this country and we are sorely short of seeing any true leaders rise up to help us.
In my book, Many Are Called But Few Can Manage, I define the characteristics of true leaders.  These are the things required for success in business, politics, or anywhere in public or personal life.  One of the things that denotes a true leader is the fact that a leader does what is right regardless of the cost.  Even if it costs them their leadership position, they still do what is right. 
Truth is more important than anything else, even if it means self-sacrifice.  We don’t see that today.  We see self-serving people who don’t deserve the trust they’ve been given by the American people.  The citizens of this nation need to look carefully and scrutinize fully any and every person who want to be in a leadership position in our nation and make sure they meet the characteristics of true leaders.  We should pray that true leaders would rise up and the voters would recognize them as the ones we need to help lead us out of this dark and dangerous time in our history.